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Topic: paperback / hardback

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Subject: paperback / hardback
Date Posted: 8/11/2007 6:29 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 35
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Could everyone please check through their shelves when they have a moment and make sure that books listed as hardback are actually hardback (or library bound or whatever the case may be).  I've tried to get a specific cover type for two different books my last two swaps (they were listed as my preferred cover type in the in the system) and they've turned out to be paperbacks when they showed up at my door. 

It is very easy to list a bunch of books and not look at the fine print closely enough to see if everything is correct.  If you have time to look through your listings please check to see that some have not accidentally slipped through.  I know this isn't something people do on purpose, but my last two swaps have been a bust and it is getting annoying since it is preventable. 

Date Posted: 8/11/2007 6:37 PM ET
Member Since: 11/14/2005
Posts: 6,421
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Hilary, I hope you asked for your credit back in both cases. It is clearly one of the items asked to be verified when listing or sending a book, that the binding match. And is one of the valid reasons for marking a book recieved with a problem, listed in the Help Center:

"The "official" problem options are:

  • Wrong Book
    • This includes inappropriate items such as ARCs or leaflets/pamphlets/booklets without ISBNs
    • This includes the wrong versions of books (ie, the ISBN, title, author or booktype of the book you received doesn't match the PBS listing of the book you requested)
    • How to tell if the book you received is a "wrong book"
  • Damaged by Sender
    • This means the book appears to have been unacceptable for swapping at PBS before it was put in the mail
    • This includes books packaged using tape applied to the book if the book is damaged and rendered unrepostable by opening the package.
    • Read more about sender-damaged books here
  • Damaged by USPS
    • This means that the book's poor condition appears to be the result of its journey in the mail.
    • This includes books that appear to have been poorly packaged for mailing by the sender.
    • Read more about USPS-damaged books here
  • Requestor Conditions Violation
    • This means the book does not meet the specifications in your Requestor Conditions
    • Read more about Requestor Conditions violations here.

Click here for instructions on what to do if your book arrives with an "official" problem as described above."

Date Posted: 8/11/2007 7:24 PM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 35
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I've marked them as received with a problem (edit: I checked my transaction archive and I did actually put "wrong book" for both of them. ), but I've not asked for credits back (even when it was offered).  I figure it is an honest mistake on their part and frankly, it is a hassle for me to mail the books back to the sender.  It is easier for me to give the paperback to a friend and absorb the loss that way.  I am not trying to punish any particular offender.  I just want people to take a second to look through their shelves or in the very least look at the book listing vs the actual book they have before they send an order out .  This could be a problem on any number of peoples listings.  Anyway, I mostly just don't want to have to cross my fingers every time I order a certain binding.  :)

Last Edited on: 8/12/07 12:48 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/11/2007 8:14 PM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2007
Posts: 6
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Yeah, this just happened to me, too (on my first PBS request) -- thought I had requested the hardcover edition, but received a paperback and didn't get any heads-up from the sender about the book not matching the listing. (Probably an honest mistake, but I'm planning to ask for my credit back.) I wonder if part of the problem may be that even when the ISBN matches the title/author info in the database, the book type doesn't always match. For example, the ISBN of the unpostable book in my signature is listed as hardcover, but my copy is paperback. So does that mean I should go ahead and edit the book info? I'm not exactly sure...What I do know, though, is that if this book were in postable condition, I would not post it unless I could find a "matching" listing that indicated the same book type as my copy.

Date Posted: 8/11/2007 8:18 PM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Last Edited on: 1/18/09 10:56 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Cathy A. (Cathy) - ,
Date Posted: 8/11/2007 8:32 PM ET
Member Since: 12/27/2005
Posts: 4,221
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Ken -- this problem occurs because publishers use the same ISBN to refer to two different bindings. When you post a book to your shelf, you have to match the binding type (and author, title, and ISBN). So, assuming that when you enter the ISBN on the paperback book you got, the listing comes up as hardcover, you cannot post it that way. The correct thing to do in that case is to post the book as if it had no ISBN.

Of course the problem can also occur if members are browsing the wish list and click Post This Book and then don't check to see that they really have the exact book they just clicked on.

Date Posted: 8/11/2007 8:45 PM ET
Member Since: 6/27/2007
Posts: 31
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This is one of my personal pet peeves. I request hardback children's books for my classroom use and regulary receive a paperbacks without an ISBNs. I have only been a member here for three months and have had this happen 5 times. Many times when I request my credit back because the wrong book was sent the reply from the sender is "it is a children's book you shoudn't be so picky". I have only been able to get my credit back two of the five times. I is very frustrating to have to wait on a wait list for 3-4 weeks only to have the book sent to you to be the wrong one. Thanks for letting me vent.
Date Posted: 8/12/2007 12:26 AM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 35
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Thanks for checking through your shelf, Julie!  Saves everyone trouble down the road.  :)


Angie -
Date Posted: 8/12/2007 12:42 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 3,299
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A couple points:

1) If you receive the wrong book from what you ordered, it is the sender's fault, not yours, and they cannot make you spend your money to mail the book back to them, that would defeat the purpose of giving you your credit back. (It does say in the help center that the sender should refund your credit without getting the book back, unless they give you an extra credit to cover postage costs, or they pay the postage.)

2) Make sure you mark it WRONG BOOK, and not received with a problem.

3) You may want to consider PM'ing the person (especially if it is a wishlisted book, where you can PM the sender before accepting the book) before you order it just to avoid the hassle.  You shouldn't have to do it, but it just seems easier that way if getting a book in a certain binding type is important to you. I've done this before and had no problems.

Date Posted: 8/12/2007 12:57 AM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 35
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1. I never realized I didn't have to mail it back. Good to know.  I thought that if I was to get a credit back I'd have to mail it back.

2. I checked my transaction archive and I did actually put "wrong book" for both of them.  I always have to look it up at the time and then promptly forget which each mean afterward.  Thanks for clearing that up. 


Date Posted: 8/12/2007 9:17 AM ET
Member Since: 7/8/2007
Posts: 6
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A few more related questions to this topic (although a little off topic from the original topic):

Sometimes when I post books, the book type in the listing comes up as "Unknown Binding." Does this mean that it's really "unknown"? Or just that the ISBN hasn't yet been assigned to match either a hardback or paperback? Does "Unknown Binding" tend to make people more reluctant to request a book? (i.e., would I be better off posting the book as if it had no ISBN, with a "known" binding?)

And, if I do post a book with "Unknown Binding," and it gets requested, is the common courtesy to PM any requestor to explain whether the "unknown binding" is hardback/paperback?

Date Posted: 8/12/2007 9:46 AM ET
Member Since: 1/15/2007
Posts: 35
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One last thing.  If you do post a book with a wrong binding and the person who ordered it is displeased and marks it as a "wrong book" and tells you what happened please do not follow that up with "well, I am sure you will find the paperback is enjoyable enough anyway" etc.  Enjoyability is not the point.  Paperbackswap gives you the option of ordering a particular binding type and until that is not the case "enjoyment" does not get you off the hook.  Just skip saying that entirely, no matter how tempted.  *long suffering sigh*

I think in the future I am going to have those annoying PM conversations before ordering.  "Is this really a hardback" and try to avoid this.  It will slow down trading but I apparently can't just order books anymore.  Maybe I should put in my conditions "hardbacks must be hardbacks, etc."  Though that will likely drive off anti-conditions people.  Blah.

Last Edited on: 8/12/07 9:46 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/12/2007 10:01 AM ET
Member Since: 5/29/2007
Posts: 13,347
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Well I only have 10 books up right now Hilary, so it only took 20 seconds, but you're welcome.  It's a good reminder.  I do go thru the "post your books" section at lightening speed so I would not have been surprised if I had found one or two that were wrong. 

Date Posted: 8/12/2007 12:37 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2005
Posts: 379
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Putting in conditions is an excellent idea. Something like "I often order books for my classroom and really need HBs for this. If the book I am requesting is a children's book, please doublecheck the listing so that if the ISBN says HB, I'm getting a HB."

That might save you the PMs as well as the disappointing orders. I would send you a book with this condition, and conditions scare me!


ETA: Are you sending the "Wrong Book" info from the Help Center? Specifically,

All problem transactions, once they have been marked "Received with a Problem", will be archived in your Transaction Archive.  The sender DOES get credit when the book is marked received with a problem.  The credit should be refunded if the problem described is accurate.

Last Edited on: 8/12/07 12:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 8/12/2007 2:57 PM ET
Member Since: 8/30/2005
Posts: 828
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I think Unknown Binding is a free-for-all.  The requestor can't claim to have wanted a specific binding type if the database didn't even show the binding type on that listing.  So I would post my book with the listing showing Unknown binding type, as long as everything else matched, if that situation ever came up.